Cumbernauld and Kilsyth ready for derby showdown

Action from the League Cup derby between Kilsyth and Cumbernauld earlier in the season.
Action from the League Cup derby between Kilsyth and Cumbernauld earlier in the season.

It may not have the global appeal of the Spanish Clasico - but for the players of Kilsyth Rangers and Cumbernauld United there’s only one derby which counts this weekend.

The two local rivals go head to head at Duncansfield on Saturday in the first league meeting between the sides this season.

And rival bosses George Shaw and Keith Hogg believe their players will be just as fired up as Messi, Ronaldo & co will be in the Camp Nou later the same afternoon.

Adding spice to the occasion - if it’s needed - is that both sides are in the hunt for promotion.

Kilsyth, whose game at Clydebank on Saturday was called off, top the Super League First Division table while Cumbernauld are just four points behind in sixth place following their win at Renfrew.

United boss Shaw said: “They shouldn’t need motivated. It’s a derby.

“They are at the top of the league, and quite rightly so, and have done very well.

But on our day we’ll give anybody a game in that league if we’ve got everybody pulling together. You can have maybe one person havinbg an off day but if you have two or three it makes the job harder.

“But playing football-wise I’d put them up against anybody in our league.

“There’s a long way to go but the closer you get to them the better, you don’t really want any gaps and it’s an opportunity for us. It’s an away game so we’ll not be flying at them, we’ll just wait and see what happens.”

Hogg believes local knowledge can be a help to his players when the action gets under way.

He said: “I’ve played in many derbies, whether it be down in Ayrshire or through in the east with Linlithgow-Bo’ness.

“A derby’s a derby and to really know the true meaning behind a derby is understanding your club.

“I’ve got the local guys there that know exactly what Kilsyth’s all about and what it means to the supporters especially after the last few seasons we’ve had when we’ve lost to Cumbernauld a few times.

“Saturday’s going to be really interesting. Cumbernauld’s coming off a good run of form and so are we.”

Neither boss is reading much into the Sectional League Cup match between the sides at Duncansfield in August which Kilsyth won 4-1.

Hogg said: “It’s going to be a different encounter from what we’ve already had in the League Cup section with them. I think they were only just getting their squad back together.

“You don’t take those games too much into consideration. They have a different manager now, George Shaw, and they’ve been doing really well so the guys are buzzing for the derby to happen on Saturday.”

And Shaw’s memories of that day are even less likely to come into play on Saturday. He admitted: “I don’t know much about them as I’ve not seen them play. I was on holiday when they boys played them in the league cup.”

Cumbernauld will be without defender Joe Bunch who went off during last week’s win at Renfrew with a hamstring injury.

However Paddy McCabe, who also has a hamstring injury, could be fit.

Kilsyth will be without long-term injury victims Gary Livingstone and Davie McWilliams but should otherwise be at full strength.